SA’s Weekend Top 10 (13 to 15 March)

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It’s been two weeks since our last look at the local box office, thanks to a combination of technical and time problems. Back then times were simpler and more innocent. The charts were just beginning to wake up: Fifty Shades Of Grey continued its run at the top, Spongebob was holding onto second and the smash hit American Sniper arrived on our shores for a third place debut.

So what has changed in fourteen to twenty one days?

focus

Focus, the thrillers tarring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, takes the top spot. Critics have not been very receptive of this story about con-artists living lives far beyond our means (who says crime doesn’t pay?), but the movie appears to be a modest hit for Smith after a series of crushing failures. Still, it’s not quite the returns a star of his stature is used to, but at least local audiences are still enjoying his work.

Meanwhile the fervour seems to have did down around Fifty Shades of Grey – at least, it’s not dominating talk shows and comment sections as much anymore. But the film continues its strong run, holding onto second place after three weeks on the chart. If local movie company execs buy a new boat, they probably have a shrine to E.L. James on it.

At number three is Chappie, a dismal performance considering its local crowd appeal. Reviews have generally not been good at all – one particular take down I saw suggested showing it to people you no longer want as friends. Our own review was a little kinder, but clearly Neill Blomkamp’s CV is taking a backwards slide. He’s probably not happy at all, especially given the rumoured grief he was given by Die Antwoord on set. It’s been a flop, barely making back its budget worldwide. Once you take off the various costs, that means it’s a write-off for Sony and a mark on Blomkamp’s career. Maybe he should call up Seth Rogen and James Franco to have a pity party.

1251623 - Chappie

At fourth is the new Spongebob movie, which has been a huge success. It made back three times its budget in the U.S. alone, so the crew from Bikini Bottom are clearly still in theri prime. Fifth is the sequel The Second Best Marigold Hotel. Despite lukewarm reviews this is doing well among older moviegoers, suggesting that a few more films aimed at the lighter side of our twilight years may not be a bad business decision.

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Number six is American Sniper, the movie that probably bought Clint Eastwood a new island. And seventh is Kingsman, the roaring action movie about spies and assassins. It has done well for itself, though with an $81 million budget it’s not exactly set the U.S. box office on fire. Still, a sequel is all but guaranteed.

thecobbler

Adam Sandler returns to our big screens at number eight in The Cobbler, a story about a shoe maker who discovers he can take on the identity of different people by wearing their shoes. Yeah, I know: what’s a shoemaker (at least one that isn’t a small kid in a third world sweat shop)? Anyway, critics hate it but with a $10 million budget and Sandler’s generally bulletproof stature, it’s bound to make a healthy profit. It should do well locally – South Africans love goofy humour, as demonstrated by the persistent hold on the charts of the ninth entry, The Wedding Ringer. It involves someone hiring people to be his fake friends at a wedding. You can see where that is going.

Finally, at tenth the biopic Theory of Everything continues to attract viewers, following on the success of another biopic, The Imitation Game, released earlier this year.

Disappearing from the charts since last week is the crashing, burning carcass of Jupiter Ascending, the year’s biggest bomb, followed by Shaun The Sheep after a dreadfully short run and the quick appearance of a romcom called Play It Cool.

The biggest earner on the Top 10 is, no surprise, Fifty Shades of Grey, bringing in a total of R34,339,212.

In closing, it happened a week or so ago, but TAK3N IS NO LONGER IN THE TOP 10! With six weeks under its belt it currently holds the longest run for the year on the local charts.

  • 01. FOCUS (our review)
  • 02. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  • 03. CHAPPIE (incl Imax) (our review)
  • 04. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (incl 3D)
  • 05. SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
  • 06. AMERICAN SNIPER (our review)
  • 07. KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (incl Imax) (our review)
  • 08. THE COBBLER
  • 09. WEDDING RINGER
  • 10. THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Last Updated: March 18, 2015

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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